What are you looking for?


We have vast experience of advising hospitality and leisure businesses. This gives us invaluable insight into the sector, meaning that we are able to offer relevant, proactive and commercially focused advice.

We have an unrivalled reputation, advising on a complete spectrum of legal matters for hospitality and leisure clients across the UK. Our dedicated team offers specialist transactional, advisory and litigation services, working in partnership with you to deliver tailor-made solutions.

Our clients include:

  • large hotel groups
  • investors/shareholders
  • breweries/pub companies
  • food and beverage companies
  • sports organisations/ stadiums
  • entertainment/hospitality venues
  • gaming/ betting companies
  • banks and commercial lenders

We regularly buy and sell properties operated as hospitality and leisure sites and companies that own such sites, so we know where issues particular to those properties and businesses can arise.

We have expertise in the brewing and drinks supply arena and can advise on licensing, health and safety, data protection and all other aspects of the regulatory regime.

Our employment experts are often called upon to provide immediate and pragmatic advice on HR issues.

We also have vast experience of negotiating a wide range of contracts for hospitality and leisure clients, including those relating to the supply of food and drinks, contract brewing and logistics, the development of bespoke software and the provision of other IT services.

Our banking and finance specialists have significant sector experience gained from loans provided by our lender clients to, for example, build hotels, buy hotels, buy leisure facilities and finance bars and restaurants.

Our clients

Examples of our work in the sector includes advising:

  • Small Luxury Hotels of the World on an exclusive strategic partnership with Hilton.
  • The Celtic Collection and its related companies including Celtic Manor Resort on various matters
  • Football Association of Wales on various matters including the successful joint bid with other national associations to host the UEFA European Championships finals tournament for men in 2028.
  • Welsh Rugby Union on the sale of Dragons RFC
  • Cardiff Rugby on its takeover by Helford Capital.
  • S.A. Brain & Co on the sale of a portfolio of 95 pub investments; and on the agreed sale of its interest in Coffee #1 to Caffè Nero
  • Welsh Rugby Union on a joint venture which transformed two of Cardiff’s most iconic buildings into the luxury Parkgate Hotel; and on its multi-million pound joint venture providing hospitality services at the Principality Stadium
  • Milford Haven Port Authority on the construction and operation of the Tŷ Milford Waterfront hotel
  • Welsh Government on the £83.7m International Convention Centre Wales
  • on the sale of Princes Gate Spring Water to Nestlé
  • ICC Wales
  • Brace’s Bakery
  • Glamorgan Brewing Company
  • FEI Foods
  • The Depot/Par 59
  • Principality Stadium
  • Welsh National Opera
  • True Swing

Our specialist services

Hospitality and Leisure businesses require legal advice from lawyers with experience across a range of disciplines. We have a track record of working as an integrated team, delivering results and adding value. We can advise you on:

  • Contracts / commercial agreements
  • Employment
  • Property
  • Construction
  • Litigation
  • M&A transactions
  • Data protection
  • Banking and Finance
  • Licensing
  • Disciplinary and regulatory hearings
  • Governance issues
  • Business Immigration

Key contact

Gerallt Jones


Gerallt is a partner and head of the corporate and commercial team. Since joining Hugh James in 2005, Gerallt has led the team to be a leading player within the corporate and commercial market, advising clients including the Welsh Government, Princes Gate Water and the Development Bank of Wales.

Gerallt also has particular expertise in the sport and food & drink sectors, leading Hugh James’s relationships with clients in these sectors including the Welsh Rugby Union and Braces Bakery.

The team at Hugh James, led by Dan Morgan, have been superb, playing a key role in diligently supporting us through this significant transaction. Our long-standing relationship with Hugh James will certainly continue into the future as we continue to evolve and grow the Brains brand

Jon Bridge, Chief Executive, SA Brain & Co

Why use us?

  • We are a multidisciplinary team offering a ‘one-stop shop’, with in-depth knowledge across a wide range of hospitality and leisure businesses.
  • Recent expansion in central London supporting our increasing presence across the sector nationally.
  • Considerable experience acting for overseas clients and UK domiciled companies that conduct cross-border transactions.

How we act for our clients

What sets us apart from our competitors is our collaborative and entrepreneurial approach to working with clients. Our specialist team have decades of experience advising clients in the fast-paced hospitality and leisure sector.

We bring a deep rooted understanding of the sector-specific issues that you face, enabling us to anticipate and avert potential problems. We strive to build effective partnerships which add real value. Our approach as a firm is to ensure we are ‘partner-led’ on our complex areas of work, while delivering value for money on more straightforward matters. We work hard to ensure we have a thorough understanding of your business which allows us to be proactive, commercial and innovative. Our multi-disciplinary team works collaboratively to deliver a seamless service, through a dedicated point of contact.

We appreciate that the accessibility of our senior lawyers (even outside usual business hours) and the speed of response to instructions, are critically important factors in the fast-moving hospitality and leisure world.

Hospitality and leisure finance

Our banking and finance team is experienced in acting for borrowers and lenders in the hospitality and leisure sectors. Our experts have a depth of understanding of the industry which guarantees that you get comprehensive, commercially-aware advice.

We advise our clients on:

  • acquisition and investment financing
  • refinancing
  • development and construction financing
  • mezzanine financing
  • preparation of certificates/reports on title
  • intercreditor issues, especially in connection with drinks producers
  • perfection of security

The team has a wide range of experience in finance transactions relating to fast food and coffee franchises, hotels, gyms and health clubs, breweries, pubs, restaurants, bars and other leisure sites.

Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

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